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Lisbon is a city of incomparable beauty, rich culture, and profound history. Fall under the spell of its pastel-colored homes, blue water, and yellow, retro streetcars. The Portuguese capital is a city that has crossed history with brilliance, perfect combination of a rich past that gives it its charm and attractive modernity. You will enjoy 3 days in Lisbon before joining the POB cruise in the heart of Portugal.
This tour will begin on foot, accompanied by our onboard host or hostess. The first stop is the Douro Museum to learn about the passionate history and winemaking heritage in the region. Afterwards, we'll leave by coach for the Quinta do Tedo, a magnificent 18th-century estate that offers dramatic views of rivers on each side of the terraced hill it sits on. We'll visit the estate and enjoy a tasting of its wine and olive oil.*
We'll leave by coach from Porto for Guimarães. With our guide, we'll begin the tour of this university town on foot to discover its historical treasures. We'll get the chance to discover the Nossa Senhora de Oliveira Church (outdoors), the most important religious building in the city. The medieval heart of Guimarães is a labyrinth of lanes and picturesque plazas framed by 14th-century buildings. We'll continue on to the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, a medieval estate and former residence of the first Dukes of Braganza with striking architecture. The palace is closed on May 1 and Easter Day.
At the end of our visit, we'll return on board in Porto.
Departure by coach from Regua to Lamego for a guided tour of the city center by coach and on foot. Lamego is a charming episcopal and commercial town where you'll get to discover the Nossa Senhora dos Remedios Sanctuary. This 18th century church stands out with its white façade dominating a baroque staircase with 686 steps ending in a shrine built in the rocaille style and adorned with azulejos. The first stone was laid on February 14th, 1750 and gave way to the construction of a massive temple overlooking the city and providing a breathtaking view over the misty mountains of the surrounding landscape. Return on board in Regua.
We'll leave from Vila Nova de Gaia by coach for downtown Porto. Once we arrive, we'll board one of the city's trams and partake in this urban-tourism experience all the way to the mouth of the Douro. Our visit will include a stop at the tram museum (Museu do Carro Eléctrico), housed in a former thermo-electric power plant. The museum collection comprises the oldest cars pulled by horses, called "Americanos,” to the last trams from the 1950s and 1960s. We'll finish up our excursion with a tasting of some of the local specialties*. At the end of our tour, we'll return to the ship by coach.
We'll leave from Regua or Pinhão for Vila Real, where aristocrats built grand palaces during the 16th and 18th centuries. The architecture of the religious buildings is here extremely varied. We'll take a panoramic tour of the city by coach, followed by a tasting of the local pastry, Cristas de Galo.
We'll then set out to explore Mateus Palace, the most beautiful and astonishing manor in all of Northern Portugal. This 18th-century beauty is set in a hilly landscape reminding us of Mexico. The subtle mixture of granite, white walls and extravagance from the Age of Enlightenment such as ledges covered in statues and Baroque style pilasters is a striking feature. Behind the manor is a delightful garden with box hedges, more statues, and a spectacular 115-foot cedar tunnel. After our tour, we'll return to our ship in Regua or Pinhão.
A unique opportunity to admire the city of Porto by night during a panoramic tour by bus. You will love the old, preserved districts of this city of immense character, classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Porto is not only a city rich in vestiges from a glorious past, but also the young-spirited, warm capital city of a region marked by its winemaking as well as its closeness to the ocean. During the tour of the historic center, your guide will schedule a stop at the Sao Bento railway station to look at its magnificent azulejos. Return on board by coach.
Departure by coach from the Villa Nova de Gaia Quay, facing Porto from across the Douro river and the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, built between 1881 and 1886 by French engineer Theophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel's pupils.
Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, stands out from the steep banks of the Douro river with its mixture of grey facades and red tiles interspersed with unusual architectural masterpieces.
Its historical center was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We'll discover The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Building), built in 1834 by the city's Commercial Association. It has remained their headquarters to this day. After climbing up the beautiful granite and marble stairway, we'll visit the former Tribunal Room, the Golden Room and the Arab Room, decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style. Afterwards, we'll visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), also known as the "Golden Church”. It was originally a modest convent founded by Franciscan monks in the 12th century, before being further altered by prominent Porto families in the 15th and 16th centuries. They were responsible for the Baroque style interior which mingles with the large, elaborate rose window in Gothic style on the main façade in a fascinating mixture of styles reflecting the various eras it went through.
We'll cross the Dom Luis I Bridge again back to Villa Nova de Gaia for the visit of a wine cellar. Porto's pride notably stems from its famous wine known the world over, which you will get to taste*. We'll return on board by coach.
We'll leave by coach for the mouth of the Douro River. Here, you'll set out with your guide for a hike along the Douro, passing through the traditional fishing village of São Pedro da Afurada. We'll have a great view of Porto and its famous Ribeira Square before arriving in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the prestigious wine is aged in renowned cellars. We'll visit a wine cellar and enjoy a tasting*. After our hike, we'll return to the ship on foot.